Harrington punts Irish Open

LONG LAST: Winner Padraig Harrington. Pic. Robert Galbraith. 22/07/07. © Reuters.
LONG LAST: Winner Padraig Harrington. Pic. Robert Galbraith. 22/07/07. © Reuters.

CARNOUSTIE - Padraig Harrington called for the British Open to return to his native Ireland on Sunday after becoming the first Irishman in 60 years to win a major.

CARNOUSTIE - Padraig Harrington called for the British Open to return to his native Ireland on Sunday after becoming the first Irishman in 60 years to win a major.

The 35-year-old Dubliner clinched one of the most exciting Opens in recent years, beating Spaniard Sergio Garcia in a playoff, to follow the victory of Northern Ireland's Fred Daly at Hoylake in 1947.

Nothing would give him greater pleasure than contesting the Open in Ireland, he told Reuters.

"I would just love the R&A [Royal and Ancient] to bring the Open back to Ireland.

"I think either Royal Portrush or Royal County Down would make excellent venues. I hope they look at it again."

The R&A had said earlier in the week that there were no plans to move the tournament from Scotland or England though chief executive Peter Dawson said the situation was constantly being reviewed.

The only Open to be held outside mainland Britain was held at Royal Portrush in 1951 when Briton Max Faulkner triumphed.

Ireland staged last year's Ryder Cup at the K Club in County Kildare but that is an inland course rather than the traditional seaside links which stages the Open. - Reuters

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